For at least the first quarter and part of the 2nd, it looked like an all-out men against boys contest in the Charlotte 49ers’ inaugural game. A pinpoint performance by Matt Johnson and some solid defense has the Niners up, 35-7, at halftime of their first game.
On Campbell’s second play of the game, Mark Hogan came up with an interception, and the offensive lineman took it 32 yards to the house for the Niners’ historic first ever touchdown. On the Niners’ first offensive possession of the game, they struck gold again, as Matt Johnson capped a nine-yard drive with a two-yard pass to Justin Bolus, followed by a CJ Crawford two-point conversion to make it 15-0.
Early on, Campbell’s offense looked out of sorts, and their defense looked like they couldn’t keep up with the Niners; fast-pace attack–with just over 5 to play in the 1st, they had burned through all of their timeouts. Meanwhile, Charlotte kept chugging along, and before anyone knew it, it was 22-0 Niners as Matt Johnson completed his first eight passes–with TD passes to Bolus and Austin Duke. A Blake Brewer field goal 11 seconds into the 2nd quarter made it 25-0. Later, the local product, Kalif Phillips, scampered to the end zone with a 15-yard run to make it 32-0. But Campbell broke up the shutout with 2:08 left in the 2nd quarter as they capped a 14-play, 85-yard drive with a Dakota Wolf one-yard keeper to make it 32-7.
One bright spot for the Camels: their run attack, as they picked up 87 yards on the ground to Charlotte’s 86. Charlotte receivers outslugged Campbell’s, 223-76. As for Johnson, he ended the half 16-25 with 223 yards and two touchdowns.